Curling up with a good book is one of life's simple pleasures.
Creating a cosy corner in your home to read is an easy interior design project that carves out an intentional place for you to enjoy doing so.
Here at Batteson Studio we absolutely love to read and wanted to share some advice on how to go about creating a reading nook of your own.
The beauty of a reading nook is that it can come in many forms, from a small corner in a bedroom to a dedicated reading room, you can adapt your designs to suit your space.
The Perfect Spot
The first thing to consider is finding the perfect place. Even the smallest of homes should have a quiet spot that will allow for a dedicated armchair to create your reading nook. Ideally somewhere that will feel somewhat sheltered and cocooned, private enough for you to sit in peace for an hour or two.
An alcove is ideal, particularly if it will allow for a bookcase, alternatively a chair near a window, or corner of a bedroom will do the trick. If you have an otherwise unused area on a wide landing or hallway this can be a fantastic use of the space.
A window seat is another great spot to create your secluded space. If you have a deep window sill that allows it you could add an upholstered bench cushion, then all you need is a selection of cushions and throws to create the perfect lounging space. By creating your nook next to a window then you also benefit from natural light. This adds to the cosy feeling of being warm and comfortable in your home whilst casting an eye out to the world beyond.
Alternatively, if you have a home office look at placing a chair away from your desk and computer, dedicated to reading, or even just taking five minutes which is great for some creative thinking.
Finally if you are lucky enough to have the space in your home for your very own reading room then you could create your very own library - the absolute dream!
If you need some hope with optimising the space in your home arrange a call with me to discuss my spatial planning services.
A Place To Sit
The most important element of your reading space (after a great book!) is the chair. Comfort is the key consideration here with a spacious armchair your best option. Somewhere that you can sit comfortably for as many hours as you can get away with, in a variety of comfy positions.
Armchair tends to work better than a sofa as it helps avoid any visitors - reading is a solitary pleasure after all, apart from perhaps those of the four pawed variety.
If you already have a comfy chair that you can relocate then that’s ideal. A tired armchair can be given a new lease of life when reupholstered in a tactile fabric of your choice.
If space allows then adding a footstool will really add to that comfort factor.
Next up, getting the lighting right is vital in adding to the relaxed vibe that you are looking to create.
Avoid harsh overhead lighting, a good tip for any home but particularly when it comes to creating a quiet spot to read.
Aim for soft atmospheric lighting that provides enough light so that you aren’t straining your eyes.
A floor standing lamp or a reading light positioned to your side can be used to illuminate the page without causing glare.
If space allows a selection of books within reach makes the space more intentional. Positioning yourself next to a bookshelf or bookcase is perfect and will create your own little personal library. Even just a small shelf with a few books would work. If that’s not possible leaving a selection of books on a side table or your current book on the chair will signpost that this is your spot for reading!
Adding bookshelves or a bookcase is both practical and an attractive way to decorate any home. Bookcases are good pieces to look out for at auctions and secondhand furniture stores. Look locally or on Etsy for makers who can create custom builds often using reclaimed wood.
If you want to make your own shelves, scaffold boards are the perfect size and can be a fairly simple DIY project.
A Side Table
Another handy addition is a perfectly placed small side table where you can easily reach for your cup of tea, bookmark and glasses.
This doesn’t need to take up too much space but a well positioned table which can be easily reached from your chair will encourage you to linger longer.
Adding textiles is a fast track way to make any space feel cosy, adding a blanket or throw and a cushion or two will both look the part and add to the comfort and enjoyment.
Positioning your chair on a rug helps define and anchor the space, you could even add a plant (yes, always a good idea!) to help screen the area. Having a lovely green plant in your peripheral vision is a simple way to feel connected to the natural world.
Books Books Books
Obviously this being all about creating the perfect place to sit and read, the books are the most important thing. If like me, you are always adding to your collection then its worth a look in local charity shops, Oxfam books, car boot sales and World of Books.
A Few Tips On Book Styling
Let’s start by saying bookshelves do not have to be styled! You can pop your books on your shelves in whichever way you fancy. Whatever makes it easy to lay your hands on the one you want.
But if you do enjoy a nicely styled bookshelf here are a few ways you can do so.
Subject Matter - this makes a lot of sense with non fiction, I do tend to have dedicated areas for cookery, gardening, art books etc. This certainly helps when you are looking for something in particular!
Colour - This is a personal favourite of mine. I like to style books grouped by colour as I like to appreciate the array of colourful spines. Closely followed by…
Size Order - I tend to position my books by rough height, to create a little order in the space. Stacked books are of course always best piled from big to small!
Spines To The Back - as a book lover I must admit this is a look that leaves me cold, but if you find the kaleidoscope of book spines too much for the colour palette of your home then you may feel this is the look for you. But how you would ever actually find anything I don’t know?
Lastly, if there really isn’t space to build a reading nook, then frankly some good light, a cosy blanket and your favourite book is really more than enough! Lets face it, a good book can whisk us away anywhere…
PS. If you would like any help with designing any space in your home, even the tiniest of nooks, drop me a message and we can have chat.